The North Judson man whose refusal to come to the door of his trailer when a sheriff’s deputy showed up with a warrant has a history of run-ins with the law. Shannon Watts was arrested in April of 2009 after reportedly trying to run over two police officers during a high-speed pursuit through Knox. A city police officer clocked him doing 81 in a 35 mph zone and tried to pull him over on U.S. 35, according to court documents. A pursuit around the northeast part of the city ensued, and Watts reportedly tried to run over two officers on Delaware Street. Officers from the Starke, LaPorte and Porter counties were all involved in the chase.
In January of 2010, a jury in Starke Circuit Court found Watts guilty of the felony offenses of resisting law enforcement, criminal mischief and criminal recklessness in excess of $2,500 as well as the misdemeanor offense of reckless driving. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall sentenced him to a total of six years in the Department of Corrections and ordered him to pay $8,500 in restitution to the county and $14,500 in restitution to Trident Insurance. During his sentencing hearing, Judge Kim Hall noted that Watts’ criminal history and previous sentences had been ineffective in preventing him from committing crimes.
Watts ended up surrendering without incident following an hour-long standoff with SWAT team members yesterday at a home in Born’s Trailer Park. He refused to come to the door when a Starke County Sheriff’s Deputy showed up to serve warrants for parole and probation violations. Detective Kenny Pfost with the Starke County Sheriff’s Office says the SWAT team was called in because it was unclear whether there were weapons in the home. Officers secured the area around the residence, while others staged at the nearby rest park on State Road 10 east of North Judson. Additional charges are pending.